Technophile

An upgrade to Apple’s AirPods

Mala Bhargava | Updated on April 18, 2019

Apple’s AirPods, the totally wireless earbuds, were among the first to be available and certainly the first to go popular. They’ve been particularly well liked in the US, where the iPhone is the most-used smartphone. You can use them with Android phones as well, though not with full functionality such as calling up the smart assistant, but the experience is clearly much better with the phone it’s intended for. The AirPods also talk to the Apple Watch, making up a nice tight ecosystem for those who’ve got these products.

For a long time AirPod users have been speculating and waiting for interesting updates to the earbuds, expecting better music quality, longer battery life and even health tracking features that work directly through the buds. In March, Apple did indeed upgrade to the AirPods 2, but not with the expected additions. The new AirPods look exactly the same, disappointing those who thought they might be available in black and be less prominent worn by some people, but they are still enamel white and are so identical that the new earbuds fit into the older generation’s case. They even sound exactly the same, though users have imagined they sound just a little better. What has changed is that there is now a wireless charging case available for the AirPods along with a standard one. The AirPods with the standard charging case are for ₹14,900 and will be available to order through Apple authorised resellers. With a Wireless Charging Case, the price goes up to ₹18,900. People who already have AirPods can also get the standalone Wireless Charging case for ₹7,500.

You need to have a wireless charger to use the wireless charging case, of course and it can be any Qi charger that is reasonably good. Dropping the case on the wireless mat shows you the charging light of both the buds and the mat before turning off.

The new AirPods are claimed to lead to better talk time, a difficult thing to test. They’re also supposed to connect quicker to other Apple products. Triggering Siri is now done by just saying Hey Siri rather than requiring a tap on the earbud.

A fresh purchase of the AirPods 2 isn’t really recommended for anyone who has the previous gen and is managing to use them without too much of a battery problem.

Published on April 17, 2019

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